Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad Recipe

A Midwest classic, Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad has sweet and salty pretzels, a creamy filling, and real raspberries in the Jello. So addictive!

I love introducing my California friends to crazy Midwest recipes like this Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad.

I have several people who taste-test my recipes, all California natives, and they shook their heads in amazement at this unexpected, yet so delicious, combination of pretzels, cream cheese, and raspberry Jello.

A Midwest classic, Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad has sweet and salty pretzels, a creamy filling, and real raspberries in the Jello. So addictive!

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In my world, this recipe comes from my friend Bobbi. She always made it for her 4th of July parties, so it seemed only appropriate that I share it near that holiday.

How to Make Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad

Start with a layer of crushed pretzels tossed in butter and sugar. That's your base. As my friend Jana pointed out, you could just eat THAT all day long, no problems. I think Pretzel Brittle is in my future (and yours).

Bake the pretzel crust until golden and fragrant. Then, top with a delicious, creamy combination of cream cheese, sugar, and whipped topping.

Then, top with raspberry gelatin studded with lots of raspberries! Call it a salad call it dessert, but just make it and LOVE IT!

Take it To Go

Just out of personal curiosity, to see if it would work, I tried making this Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad in one of those disposable aluminum pans (the "half size" which is 12-3/4" x 10-3/4" x 2-9/16").

I baked the preztels in the pan and it was just fine; there was no adjustment to the baking time. I finished assembling the salad with no issues, too.

However, when I was serving and eating the salad, the layer of pretzels felt too thick. Because there was a smaller surface area in the pan, the pretzel layer was taller (packed higher). I prefer the salad in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and the way the pretzels are more spread out in there. Just a thought!

5 from 6 votes

Raspberry Pretzel Salad Recipe

A Midwest classic, Raspberry Pretzel Salad has sweet and salty pretzels, a creamy filling, and real raspberries in the topping. So addictive!
Course Dessert, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword jello, raspberries
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 12 servings
Calories 330kcal

For the pretzels:

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup butter melted (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whipped topping thawed (from one 8-ounce container, see notes)

For the topping:

  • 2 (3 ounce) packages raspberry gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages frozen raspberries thawed
  • Whipped topping for garnish, optional
  • Pretzels Uncrushed, for garnish, optional
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, add crushed pretzels, butter, and sugar. Toss well to combine.
  • Press into an un-greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Stir in whipped topping until combined.
  • Spread over pretzel crust and refrigerate until chilled (at least 30 minutes).
  • In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in raspberries and chill until partially set. Carefully spoon over filling. Chill until firm, 4 to 6 hours.
  • Garnish with additional whipped topping and pretzels if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • The salad can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The pretzels will stay crunchy in the refrigerator. When you serve the salad, as it sits at room temperature for two to three hours, the pretzels will start to soften. But, in the refrigerator they will stay crunchy.
  • 12 thin (stick) pretzels will yield about 1/2 cup crushed pretzels. 
  • To crush pretzels, place in a zipper-top plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or mallet. Or, place in a food processor and pulse until crushed.
  • One 8-ounce container of whipped topping contains about 3 cups. This recipe calls for 2 cups whipped topping. You can use the last cup for garnish, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal

 

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  1. Kristi Durrant

    I just wanted to let you know that I served this at a meal for 70 people. It was a raving success! Thank you so much for helping with the recipe.5 stars

  2. Liz

    is it 1/4 or 1/2 cup of sugar in pretzel mixture? Above it says 1/2 but in the instructions it says 1/4.

    1. meggan

      Hi Liz! Sorry about this typo. It should be 1/2 cup of sugar. I adapted a recipe from my friend and ended up doubling the amount of pretzels she had in the base (I just felt like it needed more). And so I doubled the butter and the sugar, but apparently only in the ingredients and not in the recipe! Fixing it now. Should definitely be 1/2 cup. I just made this last week, it was a hit! Thank you!

  3. Kristi Durrant

    That is great information! Thank you so.much for conducting a test kitchen for me!5 stars

  4. Kristi

    Can this recipe be made the night before or will it make the pretzels soft?

    1. meggan

      Hi Kristi! Tested this out. The pretzels will NOT get soggy in the fridge overnight. In fact, I left mine in the fridge for 3 days and the pretzels were still crunchy on the third day. The thing that makes the pretzels soggy, though, is when it sits out at room temperature. So when you pull it out to serve it, if it’s there 2-3 hours later, the pretzels will soften. But in the fridge, they are fine. I hope this helps! Thanks.

    2. meggan

      Hi Kristi, in my experience the pretzels do not get soggy. The trick is to make sure they are totally covered by the cool whip/cream cheese mixture so no jello gets through. I’m going to make this again Tuesday just to make sure! Thanks for the question.

  5. Dave

    I made this with gluten feee pretzels (Glutino brand) and it came out perfect.  A word of caution, if you are easily lead astray by sweet-tart, creamy smooth decadence, stay away from this addictive dessert.

    A grand slam hit. 5 stars

  6. Karly

    Not to be dramatic, but this dessert right here is one of my favorite parts of living in the midwest. I mean seriously, there’s just no beating it!5 stars

  7. I adore your ‘crazy’ midwest recipes too.

    One of the greatest things about ‘American food’ are those amazing regional specialities. I love watching shows like ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’ for this reason.

    This sounds incredible. I would sure enjoy going to a Midwest pot-luck!5 stars

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